How do Telehealth Autism Assessments work?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become increasingly common and popular for use across allied health services. Here at One Central Health, we offer comprehensive therapy and support through remote telehealth, including for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessments.

But how do Autism Assessments work with telehealth? In this article, we’ll outline the entire telehealth process to help you prepare and feel ready for your remote Autism Assessment.

Before we begin, make sure to check out our guide on what to expect from Autism Assessments as well.

72% believe video telehealth is comparable to in-person care.

Source: Coviu

Can Autism Assessments really be done through telehealth?

The short answer is yes!

The long answer is absolutely yes! All of our clinicians and assessors are very comfortable and experienced with telehealth appointments and assessments. We provide remote therapy services for many clients located around Western Australia.

Over the course of the pandemic it’s become more and more expected and acceptable to have assessments being conducted over telehealth. Schools, GPs, paediatricians and the NDIS all accept our telehealth Autism Assessments.

Health and Safety of Telehealth

Our telehealth assessments and services offering allows us to ensure that our clients receive support no matter what’s going on with government pandemic regulations and restrictions.

It also allows us to ensure the health and safety of our clients and staff.

Flexibility of Telehealth

Telehealth also offers greater flexibility. You can conduct the Autism Assessment in the comfort of your own home and save the time and energy you’d otherwise be expending on travelling to our clinics.

66.7% believe video telehealth makes healthcare more accessible.

Source: Coviu

What do you need for telehealth?

Before you begin your Autism Assessment through telehealth, you will need to go through this Four Point Checklist to ensure you have the devices and connection required.

1. Internet Connection

Telehealth is conducted over the internet and requires both an audio and video connection so you will need a certain upload/download speed.

Whether you are using a computer or tablet, make sure to check your internet speed before the start of the session.

How to check if you have internet

If you have a PC, select the Start button. Then search for and open Settings. Select the option that says Network & Internet. Your connection status should appear at the top of the screen.

If you have an Apple Mac, click on the Apple logo in the top taskbar and select System Preferences. Then click on Network and Network Adaptor. The status of your connection should be visible here.

How to check your internet speed

While different telehealth programs require different levels of internet connection, the general rule is the higher your upload/download speed the better the quality and less likely for the connection to lag or break.

Testing your internet speed is super easy. You can use the handy Telstra Speed Test, the Speedtest by Ookla or even just Google the term: “how to check internet speed”.

Telehealth Image depicting an internet signal with the text: Internet Connection 350+ Kbps Upload/Download

2. Computer or Device

You will need to have a computer or tablet device that is internet-enabled and reliable for your Autism Assessment. While a smartphone can be used, it will be a lot easier for you to use a laptop, tablet or other portable gadget.

Telehealth Image depicting a computer, tablet and iPhone with the text: Computer or Device.

3. Internet Browser

Most telehealth programs prefer you to use either a Google Chrome internet browser (best option) or a Safari 12+ internet browser. Using other browsers, such as Firefox or Microsoft Edge, can sometimes cause for a disrupted connection or be unable to connect full stop.

To download Google Chrome, visit google.com/chrome/ and follow the instructions.

Telehealth Image depicting two internet browser logos with the text: Internet Browser Google Chrome or Safari 12+

4. Camera, Microphone and Speaker

The last things you need to prepare for your telehealth appointment are:

  • A web-cam to connect your video feed.
  • Microphone so that you can speak through the telehealth connection.
  • Speaker or earphones to enable you to hear what is being said by the clinician.

While most laptops, tablets and smartphones have a camera, microphone and speaker built in, if you’re connecting using a desktop computer, you may need to find external devices to plug in. Officeworks and similar stores stock a wide variety of webcams and microphones that can be really easily plugged into a range of computers.

Telehealth Image depicting a webcam, microphone and speaker with the text: Camera, Microphone and Speaker.

How do Telehealth Autism Assessments Work?

All telehealth appointments, including Autism Assessments, offer more flexibility to their structure.

Part 1

Typically, we start with everyone–parent(s)/guardian, child and the speech pathologist and psychologist conducting the Autism Assessment–on screen together. While you and your child can be on the same screen for this part of the assessment, the two therapists will be on separate screens.

First off, we’ll chat about how we might like the assessment to run. This depends on a number of factors including the age of the child and the level to which they are coping with using telehealth.

Part 2

The next part of the assessment can be conducted in a number of ways. Either one assessor can remain on screen with the child, while the other assessor contacts the parent/guardian separately. (This will require you to have multiple telehealth-enabled devices available, though it can also be conducted over the phone.) After this section of the assessment is complete, the assessors will then swap.

Or we can conduct the child (or parent) session later than day or at another time rather than back to back if that works best for everyone involved. We will discuss all of these options with you before continuing the assessment. Some assessments do not require the child component to be conducted separately. We will carry out the entire process on the one screen in one go for these assessments.

63% said telehealth was convenient.

Source: Coviu

After the Assessment

If more testing is required to complete the assessment, our clinicians and assessors use a number of techniques to gather more information. These include:

Reports

All assessment reports are completed to the highest level of clinical standards and best practice regulation regardless of whether the assessments were conducted face to face or through telehealth.

Contact Us Today For More Telehealth Information

If you would like more information regarding how telehealth works with Autism Assessments, or telehealth regarding any of our other allied health services, call us today on (08) 9344 1318.

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